My great-aunt passed away this morning.

She was such a part of my life, that she was like another grandma to me.

Though I am comforted by the knowledge that I will see her again, today I feel some of the sad ache of loneliness that comes with losing someone who is dear.

As I have held my littlest one today, I have thought a lot about my aunt.  This wee one carries her name.

After I heard the news of my aunt’s passing, which I had been waiting for for several days, I instinctively went and picked up my little one and held her close.

For one moment, I felt the same feeling I had had as a child, wrapping my arms around my sweet, tall, gentle aunt.  I could feel the warmth of her stove and the breeze on my face as I would look through the window of her fascinating little bathroom.  :)  I could smell her dainty smell and hear her heart beat through her thin frame.  I could hear her soft little laugh, and for a moment, it was like she had come to say good-bye.

One life ends, and another is just beginning.  The day feels bittersweet. 

I think what I always loved most about my aunt is not that she and her sister always remembered my birthday.  It is that I noticed, even from a very young age, that life had not dealt her or her sister the easiest hand.  They were alone, but they had each other.  And they always smiled when I saw them.  Always. 

Kind of like my little one.  :)  I’ve never known a baby who smiled so much, regardless of ear infections and teething and a loud, busy home. 

So today, I am trying to remember those lessons as I say good-bye for a small time.  Smile, and rely on each other.  See the blessings in what you have. 

I’ll miss you.  I can’t wait to see you again.

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